I have so many cat stories I couldn't contain them all in one post but I thought I would write about one who is gone but still very near and dear to my heart, Miss Grace.
I was nineteen, just out of trade school, and had my own apartment. I had literally just gotten the apartment, didn't even have furniture for the most part, when I set out to get a cat. I've had cats all my life and having to be without one (or two, or three
) while I lived in dorms for two years was tough. So when I saw a 'free kittens!' notice at my new job I jumped on it. The lady I called was very surprised to hear from me. The notice, it turns out, was four months old and no one had ever called. She had two cats left, a boy and girl and had given up on finding them homes. Well, I took them, sight unseen.
The boy was a black and white tuxedo. I called him Charlie at first but it didn't suit. Finally I came up with Emanon (no name backwards). The girl was all black and smaller with dark golden eyes. I named her Miss Grace the second I looked at her. I don't know why-it just suited her. They were both very shy and skittish. I don't know what their homelife was like as the lady who gave them to me seemed very nice, but both of them had an extreme fear of people, loud noises, etc. Emanon got over most of his fears but to this day he's terrified of children. (Kinda sad as I have three.
) Anyway, Emanon warmed up quickly as I did my best not to force any affection on him. Miss Grace, on the other hand, hated me. I mean, I seriously felt like she couldn't stand me. After a week or so she tolerated me getting close enough to feed her but any affectionate gesture was totally rebuffed. The weeks went by and she didn't warm to me at all. I got another cat unexpectedly, and both he and Emanon bonded with me but not her. It did hurt my feelings, I admit, but there wasn't much I could do.
Then, after having her for several months, it was time to get her spayed and when the vet told me she'd have to spend the night I thought 'That's it. Now she's NEVER going to like me after I put her through this.' I knew she would absolutely hate being away from her brother. She was still an extremely shy cat and sure enough, she was terrified of being in the cat carrier, hated the car ride, and was extremely displeased to be boarded overnight. When I went to get her the next day I fully expected a hissing, spitting ball of fury that would shred me as soon as I opened the cat carrier to let her out. It was completely the opposite. I have never seen such a look of relief on a cat's face as I saw on Miss Grace's when I walked in the office to get her. It was a shock to see how happy she was to see me. From that time on, she was my cat. She never did like anyone else, including my husband who I married two years later
, but she loved me. She slept with me every night and was extremely affectionate, totally the opposite of the hands off cat she had been. I can only guess that she thought she'd been abandoned and when I came back for her she realized that I really did love her and I was going to take good care of her.
Miss Grace disappeared around 1999. To this day we have no idea what happened to her, but we guess that she met up with a raccoon or other wild animal in our yard. There is absolutely no way she would have run off on her own-she was extremely loyal to me and she was not a people cat at all, so the odds of someone luring her away is just about nil. I still miss her to this day, and I believe Emanon does too. I hope to see her again one day.
Edited to add picture: